Stones have to be pretty beautiful to have a whole color named after them, right!? And the birthstone for December, turquoise, is the poster child for this (sorry emerald, but we still put “green” after you when referring to the color). Beautiful, alluring, and very versatile, here is a closer look at all things related to December’s birthstone, turquoise!
Which Came First, the Color or the Stone?
Turquoise is a word almost as unique as the stone, and was, indeed, first used to describe the gem, later being adapted as a fairly common adjective related to the blue-green color. Though turquoise is way more aesthetically pleasing than the word “turkey,” the latter is considered the root of the word by most etymologists.
Not to say it should be the November birthstone, however, as the “turkey” in this scenario is the country, not the main dish at Thanksgiving. When the stones were first brought to Europe by Asian traders, they traveled through the Middle East through “Turquie” and caught the attention of the masses. Thus, the European name for the stone evolved to Turquoise based on where it was coming from. Today, it is also found naturally in many areas of the United States.
What is Turquoise?
The stone is opaque, and semi-translucent, and is also quite fragile in its raw form. It was one of the first stones ever mined solely for jewelry due to its very unique color (dating back to 4,000 BC!). The stones do vary in color somewhat, but unlike other gems that have reds and blues and purples, etc., all turquoise stones are quite close to the color that shares the name (some darker, some lighter, but all with some blue and green).
It is a relatively soft stone, with a 6 on the Moh’s scale and often is seen with black or brown veins, which are byproducts of its natural creation. Turquoise is formed from dissolved copper, iron, and aluminum deposits left in cracks in porous rock formations.
Spiritually, it is said to be used for protection against disease, danger, and even God. These beliefs date back almost as long as the stone, and modern adaptations also believe the stone can protect against pollutants and overall bad vibes, and be a cure for creative dead ends like writer’s… oh what word am I looking for? [rubs turquoise]... block!
As a healing entity, turquoise is often used to treat depression and prevent panic attacks, and to increase the human immune system to fight off diseases, just as it was used in ancient times.
Why It’s Good for Jewelry
Turquoise has many great qualities as a jewel, but the best might just be its versatility. Turquoise looks great on literally every skin tone, and when worn near the hair it serves as a great accent to blondes, brunettes, redheads and almost every other hair color you may be wearing today.
The typical robin-egg color, also known as sleeping beauty turquoise (which we often use), is so unique that people can catch themselves getting entranced by a piece of jewelry centered around this awesome stone. Unlike some other mesmerizing stones, however, turquoise is shy about her beauty and does not sparkle or shine.
The relatively low hardness has pros and cons: it makes carving the stone much easier, but also means it is a bit more vulnerable to wear and tear than some of its harder counterparts like rubies.
Want to see how it looks on you!? You don’t have to be a December baby to check it out on our build your own necklace tool!